Are your papers all over the place, sticky notes as far as the eye can see and you have no idea where that important creative brief is? Instead of taking the time to clean your desk, you just search for what you’re looking for by trying to remember where you left it in the first place.
It’s okay. We’ve all been there.
We’ve all tried to tell ourselves that a messy desk is a sign of creativity. But if you find yourself overwhelmed, disorganized or even having trouble concentrating, cleaning up your desk and work surroundings can have a positive impact. Having an organized and comfortable workspace can help lower stress levels while increasing productivity and efficiency. However, for many people, the thought of designing and maintaining an organized workspace doesn’t feel achievable. If you’re looking for ways to boost your productivity, begin with these 5 simple desk organization tips.
Eliminate sticky notes
Placing sticky notes on your desk is a simple way to jot down reminders for use later. But sooner or later, your desk is covered in sticky notes, and you can’t find the note you’re looking for or you can’t remember if you completed a task. Eliminate sticky notes by keeping a notebook on your desk. When you need to jot down a note or reminder, write it in your notebook instead, and cross it off when you’re done. Or, consider using an online or computer-based version where you can create virtual sticky notes. This will help you reduce clutter on your desk while still giving you a place to jot down all of your notes and reminders.
Organize business cards
If you have a job that requires you to collect business cards or if you’re just one of those people who has a collection piled on your desk, find a way to give them a permanent home. It’s easy for business cards to collect in your drawer or on top of your desk, but this will ultimately cause unnecessary clutter and stress. Try entering the contact information into an electronic address book, scanning them or even taking a picture with your phone and storing all of the cards digitally in an app on your phone. If you want to keep the hard copy, try creating a business card photo book that you keep in your desk drawer. Having too many business cards scattered on your desk causes unnecessary clutter which ultimately lowers your productivity.
Try not to over organize
This may seem a little ironic, considering the idea is to get organized and clean up your desk. But sometimes, we can overwhelm ourselves (and our workspace) with all of the containers, shelves, trays, writing utensil holders and sticky note dispensers. In our effort to be organized, we actually create a space full of organizational chaos. It’s okay to have a little bit of mess or clutter as long as it doesn’t get out of hand. Look at your workspace and find a good place to put all of your office supplies. If you have too many office supply holders, try consolidating them into something more functional. If you’re not using something on a daily basis, try putting it in your desk drawer instead of on top of your desk.
Keep personal items to a minimum
It’s always nice to have a familiar face at your office every day – whether it’s a picture of your significant other, a drawing that your child made, a coffee cup from home or the souvenirs you bought during your latest vacation. It’s good to add a bit of home and familiarity to your desk, but too many personal items can actually turn into a distraction. If you find that you’re distracted often, try removing some of the personal items from your desk.
Find a good seat
Often times when we work in an office setting, your boss gives you a desk, computer and chair. If your chair isn’t giving you the support you need, don’t be afraid to go out and get one that does. You may not think that comfort and support really matter to your productivity, but there are not many people who are productive when they’re uncomfortable. If you spend most of your time sitting in a chair when you’re working, it’s important that you have a chair that you’re comfortable sitting in.
If you’re overwhelmed looking at all of the clutter on your desk, don’t be afraid to take some time to reorganize. Even though it may require that you step back from your work for a few minutes, it will ultimately help you increase your productivity in the long run.